Iemoto SEN Soshitsu and Family Members in Taiwan
Iemoto SEN Soshitsu and Mrs. Sen, together with their son Takafumi, daughter Makiko, and Iemoto's cousin OTANI Hiromi, made a short visit to Taiwan September 2-3, 2015, on the occasion of the combined 20th anniversary celebration of the Urasenke Tankokai (UT) Taipei Association and 7th anniversary celebration of the UT Beitou Association.

The first day, September 2, the two UT associations received them as their special guests for tea at the associations' respective tea rooms: the UT Beitou Association, at the Taiwan Folk Arts Museum, which is their tea practice center in the northern district of Taipei called Beitou, and the UT Taipei Association, at their "Kokoan" tea room facility which is located on the 16th floor of a modern office building in the city of Taipei.
UT Beitou Association's center at the Taiwan Folk Arts Museum The "Kokoan" tea room facility of the UT Taipei Association

The next day, September 3, there was a special public program held to commemorate the anniversaries of the two associations. The venue for this was the Chinese Petroleum Corporation Conference Hall, and there were approximately 600 attendees.
UT Taipei Association serves tea to attendees before the program.

SHIH Hsiu-Tze, Honorary President of the UT Taipei Association, headed the executive committee for this event, and, representing both UT associations, she delivered an opening address. This was followed by a speech by Iemoto, and then, representing the special guests, a congratulatory speech by NUMATA Mikio, Chief Representative at the Interchange Association (Japan) Taipei office, the Japanese government’s main office in Taiwan.

UT Taipei Honorary President. SHIH Hsiu-Tze Iemoto SEN Soshitsu NUMATA Mikio

Next there were award presentations by Iemoto. SHIH Hsiu-Tze and SEKI Kimi (Honorary President, UT Beitou Association) were awarded for their meritorious achievements in nurturing tea people and advancing chado in Taiwan. HITOMI Sumako (Advisor, UT Taipei Association) and CHANG Shun-Ming (Honorary President, UT Beitou Association) received certificates of appreciation for their contributions through the years to the cultural exchange between Taiwan and Japan. (CHANG Shun-Ming was unable to attend this event, but had a representative to receive the award and speak on his behalf.) Also, the following three members of the UT Taipei Association were awarded the title of “Tanko Fellow”: SHIH Hsiu-Tze (Honorary President), CHANG Wu-Hsiung (President), and ONUMA Takako (Chief of Administration).

Awardees SHIH Hsiu-Tze
and SEKI Kimi.
Awardee HITOMI Sumako
delivers a speech.
Recipients of the "Tanko Fellow" title.

On July 1 this year, Taiwan gained another UT association; the UT Taichu Association. Iemoto handed the new association's president, HUANG Shuo-Chi, and chief of administration, CHUNG Yi-Chie (Sogi) the official registration document and the certificates of entrustment for the officers.

President HUANG Shuo-Chi of the new UT Taichu Association makes a speech.

Iemoto then presented a lecture about Japanese culture and the spirit of chanoyu. He talked about the notion of “ichigo ichie” which is so important in chanoyu; the idea that each encounter is a once only event impossible to ever repeat. This was followed by a demonstration of a simple chakai, with Iemoto providing the commentary.

That evening, a banquet was held at the Okura Prestige Taipei hotel, to welcome Iemoto. Approximately 150 special guests and UT association officers and members attended. President CHANG Wu-Hsiung of the UT Taipei Association gave a welcoming address, and there were speeches by Iemoto, Gary C.K. HUANG (Governor, Rotary International), and FUNAMACHI Hitoshi (Deputy Representative, Interchange Association, Taipei office). Honorary President HSU Min-Fui of the UT Taipei Association raised the toast which began the meal.

UT Taipei President CHANG Wu-Hsiung Gary C.K. HUANG FUNAMICHI Hitoshi

When it was time to bring the banquet to a close, President CHEN Chin-Wei of the UT Beitou Association presented a closing address, once again thanking Iemoto and his family members for their visit.
UT Beitou Association President CHEN Chin-Wei